Studies: Avastin may fight early breast cancers
This undated photo provided by Genentech Inc. on Jan. 31, 2011 shows a vial of the drug Avastin.
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Since: Dec 05
#2 Mar 4, 2012
Avastin is thought to work by blocking the formation of blood vessels (angiogenesis) that feed tumors. This is what is actually measured with the AngioRx assay, which simultaneously measures direct anti-tumor and anti-vascular activity within the three dimensional (3D) tumor cell clusters. The test is capable of discriminating anti-tumor effect from anti-angiogenic effect in the same mixed-cell population. Within 24 hours of VEGF inhibition, endothelial cells have been shown to shrivel, retract, fragment and die by apoptosis.
It is the only known technology which discriminates the effects of different types of anti-angiogenic drugs within the same class of drugs and within different classes of drugs, and is capable of identifying synergistic effects among different angiogenic and non-angiogenic drugs in specific drug combinations. And there are a number of new classes of drugs that target VEGF, at the protein level (Avastin), at the tyrosine kinase level (Nexavar, Sutent) and at the intracellular metabolic pathway mTOR (Afinitor, Torisel).
Without a marker that identifies those most likely to benefit, you're just treating everybody, and the subgroup that gets the benefit gets diluted out. Biologic therapy is on the ascendancy. The possibility of eradicating cancer by selective destructon of tumor blood vessels may represent an attractive therapeutic avenue. It's going to take combination antivascular therapy to make a difference. The AngioRx assay is the most promising technology on the therapeutic horizon. And, on top of that, you can put a vascular disrupting agent in combination with an antiangiogenesis agent.
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